Archive for the ‘Biking’ Category

BikeShare 4 ways

By
August 28th, 2015



This bicycle is chainless, and uses a drive shaft instead of a chain to transmit power from the pedals to the wheel. Photos by Nina Wu.

The roads were a tangled mess as a deluge of rain came down, along with thunder, lightning and flooding on the streets late Wednesday afternoon, so it was the perfect time to pull over and check out the options for Bikeshare Hawaii at the Honolulu Design Center parking garage.

Bikeshare Hawaii showcased four bike systems to the public on Wednesday. It was the second open house, following another one on Sunday. An estimated 200 people showed up to both, according to Bikeshare Hawaii president Ben Trevino, where they had the opportunity to rate the bikes on look and comfort, plus vote for a favorite overall. The results will be weighed in during talks with the companies in consideration, he said. A decision is expected in October. I'm really excited about the possibilities!

Here were the four options:

>> Mibici. Manufactured and designed in Canada, the Mibici is extremely durable and well-made for an urban environment. It has a carrier in front, where you can put your purse, and secure it with a bungee cord (which works if your purse is wide or an unusual shape). It has a comfortable seat and rides like a cruiser. The terminal station is sleek, tall and solar-powered, and pretty user-friendly. Swipe your card and you're ready to go. It's in operation in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The Mibici, manufactured and designed in Canada. Photos by Nina Wu.

The Mibici, manufactured and designed in Canada. Photos by Nina Wu.

>> Nextbike. This bike system, developed by a German company, is present in more than 30 cities in Germany, as well as the U.S. and United Kingdom, and comes with plenty of options. Rentals can be made via the terminal, an app or pin number (there's a keypad on the bike). Every bike is equipped with an automated, on-board lock and GPS system. It's a comfortable ride, a little more sporty.

Nextbike

>> Decobike. The Decobike system, used in Miami, has been tested and proven in a market similar to Honolulu's, with its humidity, sand and salt environment. The bike features a shaft drive instead of a chain, so you won't have to worry about getting a chain caught in your pants legs. The dock station, also solar-powered, is much larger. You get a plastic, bucket basket attached to the front.

The DecoBike has been proven in the Miami market to withstand salt, sand and humidity.

The DecoBike has been proven in the Miami market to withstand salt, sand and humidity. It's a chainless bike.

>> SoBi. The Social Bike, or SoBi from Brooklyn, New York, is a smartbike with a GPS-enabled lock that works with regular bike racks. You can find and reserve a bicycle from either a web browser of mobile device, or directly from the keypad on the bike. Once you make a reservation, you enter a 4-digit PIN to unlock the bike. SoBi is in operation in Tampa, Fla. and Phoenix, Ariz.

The SoBi is a smart bike which you can reserve via a phone app.

The SoBi is a smart bike which you can reserve via a phone app.

All four bike systems have a few things in common — the bikes weigh 40 to 50 pounds, so they're heavy, with adjustable seats for riders that are tall or short. They offer different gears, but are primarily for flat rides. They're all designed for novice riders.

Bikeshare Hawaii's first phase will roll out across urban Honolulu, with about 2,000 bikes at 200 stations from Waikiki to Chinatown in 2016. The mission is to offer a network of bikes, designed for short trips of one to four miles, as a transportation system without the hassles of storage, maintenance or parking. Also, to get more people to ride bikes!

Bikeshare Hawaii Lori McCarney wearing a fashionable bike helmet next to a dress she wears while biking.

Bikeshare Hawaii Lori McCarney wearing a fashionable bike helmet next to a dress she wears while biking. She tested out all four bikes with a dress and small heels.

Posted in Biking | Comments Off on BikeShare 4 ways

Bike Month 2015

By
May 7th, 2015



BikeMonth

May is National Bike Month.

The Hawaii Bicycling League kicked off with a celebration at Mother Waldron Park in Kakaako on Saturday, May 2. On Mother's Day Sunday, the bicycling league celebrates with a ride around Kapiolani Park from 9 to 11 a.m. Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 15.

Here's a list of ways to celebrate Bike Month:

May 10th – Sunday – CycloFemme – 9am-11am – Kapiolani Park – 3921 Paki Ave

Join the Red Hot Ladies and HBL this mother’s day to unite riders of all ages, genders, ethnicities, or abilities to share the joy of cycling. CycloFemme is an international event designed to encourage more females to ride bicycles. “Man”bassadors welcome too! There will be 3 different ride lengths, something for everyone!

CycloFemme

May 15th – Friday – Bike to Work Day – 7am-9am – Thomas Square & N. Blaisdell Park Aiea

Commute to work via bicycle and stop by one of our two Energizer Stations along the way! HBL volunteers and community partners will be handing out coffee, snacks, & lots of aloha!

May 15th – Friday – Bike Month Pau Hana – 5pm-8pm – Kaka’ako Agora

Come start your Friday night off right with a bicycle themed party! Raffle and door prizes for those who use the free bike valet! We’ll be projecting bicycle movies, listening to great music, and enjoying food & drinks for small donation! Also enjoy a presentation from two cyclists pedaling around the world!

May 17th – Family Sunday at Honolulu Museum of Art – 11am-3pm

Come enjoy free admission to the “Hot Wheels” bicycle themed Family Sunday. Local groups and businesses will have bike activities, including balance bikes, rides down the cycle track, a bicycle matching game, and more. Sure to be fun for the whole family! Ride your bicycle and use the free bike valet!

May 24th – Sunday – Bike to the Zoo – 9am-2pm – Honolulu Zoo

The city and county of Honolulu is offering free admission to all who bike to the zoo! HBL is providing free bike valet!

May - September – National Bike Challenge – HBL is Local Challenge Host for Hawaii!

May marks the beginning of the 2015 National Bike Challenge. Thousands of riders from across the country will log their miles and join in friendly competition to see who can ride the most & furthest! Track using popular apps like Strava or enter manually. Compete for local and national prizes! Create workplace, school, or community teams and challenge them to ride every day!

Workshops & Presentations Calendar

May 9 (Saturday) 10:30-11:30 @ Aina Haina Public Library: Why Ride a Bicycle? Presentation

May 9 (Saturday) Hawaii Railways Society Volunteer Project - More info to come.

May 9 (Saturday) 2-3pm @ Manoa Public Library: Everyday Cycling Presentation

May 12 (Tuesday) 6-6:30pm @ Kahuku Public Library: Everyday Cycling Presentation

May 16 (Saturday) 3-5pm @ KCC: Efficient Riding Skills

May 17 (Sunday) 2-4pm @ UH: Cycling Skills 101

May 17 (Sunday) 4-6pm @ UH: Efficient Riding Skills

May 20 (Wednesday) 5:30-7:30pm @ HBL Office: Basic Bike Maintenance

May 24 (Sunday) 9:00-11:00am: Cycling Skills 101 Kailua

May 30 (Saturday) 10-11am @ Manoa Public Library: Staying Alert through Cycling presentation

 

Posted in Bike Month, BIke to Work Day, Biking | Comments Off on Bike Month 2015

Bikeshare heading this way

By
January 8th, 2015



Two bikes, "Jen" from Seattle's bikeshare program, and "Mike" from New York's Citibike bikeshare program, will visit Oahu in January to help raise awareness about a bikeshare program in the works here. Courtesy photo.

Two bikes, "Jen" from Seattle's bikeshare program, and "Mike" from New York's Citibike bikeshare program, will visit Oahu in January to help raise awareness about a bikeshare program in the works here. Courtesy photo.

Get ready for Jen and Mike.

Jen is the name of a bicycle from Seattle, and Mike is a bike from New York.  Both are part of established bikeshare programs in their respective cities. They'll be visiting Honolulu, starting Monday, to help raise awareness about the program in the works here.

Bikeshare Hawaii, a non-profit run by Lori McCarney, a former senior vice president at Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties and Ben Trevino, a founder of Interisland Terminal, is planning to roll out a program here, with the first phase set to begin in Honolulu in early 2016. The goal is to offer about 2,000 bikes at 200 stations from Waikiki to Chinatown. Similar bikesharing programs are established in numerous U.S. cities.

"The vacationing bikes will get to enjoy some of the experiences our wonderful island home offers, just like other visitors do," said McCarney, Bikeshare Hawaii CEO. "We will bring the Jen and Mike bikes to a variety of events and locales and you'll be able to follow their adventures and learn about opportunities to meet them in social media."

The bikesharing program allows customers to make short trips between a network of unattended bike docking stations. The idea is to offer customers a transportation system without the hassles of ownership, including storage, maintenance or parking. At the same time, the goal is to encourage more people to ride bikes to cut down on pollution for short trips.

A pilot program offering short-term bike rentals, called B-cycle, was launched in Kailua in 2010.

Jen and Mike are hoping to visit the Pow Wow Murals on Cooke Street; the Kuhio Beach torch lighting and hula show; the King Street Cycle Track and the Sony Open while they are in town. Follow Bikeshare Hawaii on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, with hashtags #MikeTheCitiBike and #JenTheProtoCycle to see where they are during the visit here.

Mike is part of a bikesharing program in New York sponsored by CitiBank. Courtesy photo.

Mike is part of a bikesharing program in New York sponsored by CitiBank. Courtesy photo.

 

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Year 2014 in eco-retrospective

By
December 26th, 2014



 

Illustration courtesy of Surfrider.

Illustration courtesy of Surfrider.

It was a year of highs, and a year of lows for the environment. There were several milestones, and there remain many unknowns for the upcoming year of 2015. Below is a summary of the markers for the year 2014, as I saw it.

1. Plastic overload. The year 2014 was the year of plastic, as has been the case in previous years. This year, the alarm is at an all-time high. A new study published in December by the scientific journal, PLOS ONE, reported that an estimated 270,000 tons of plastic (enough to fill more than 38,500 garbage trucks) is floating in the world's ocean, and that's only the plastic that's on the surface, not the ocean floor. Not only that, but the plastic breaks down into more than 5 trillion pieces. The impacts of all this plastic in our oceans as well as the food chain (including the fish and seafood we eat) are still unknown. Read the AP story posted Dec. 13, 2014 at staradvertiser.com.

2. Plastic-bag free. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed Bill 38 in September, officially banning retailers from distributing plastic carryout bags, including biodegradable bags. But the law doesn't go into effect until July 1, 2015. With that in place, Oahu joins Maui, Kauai and the Big Island in banning plastic bags at checkout. Apparently, the reaction among our readers was to start hoarding plastic bags (49 percent of our readers, based on our Big Q poll). In September, California was the first to implement a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores.

3. Monk seal hospital. Ke Kai Ola, the new Hawaiian monk seal hospital in Kona, held its grand opening and blessing on Sept. 2. The Marine Mammal Center's $3.2 million facility is dedicated to giving sick and injured Hawaiian monk seals a second chance. Four young, malnourished monk seals, Kulia, Ikaika, Hala‘i and Maka‘ala, were admitted on July 9 after being rescued from the northwestern Hawaiian islands.

Monk seal pup RF58 was found dead due to blunt force injuries, as a necropsy later revealed. She was one of two pups that had just survived a dog attack in July. Photo by Jamie Thompton/NOAA.

Monk seal pup RF58 was found dead due to blunt force injuries, as a necropsy later revealed. She was one of two pups that had just survived a dog attack in July. Photo by Jamie Thompton/NOAA.

4. Monk seal death. This year also marked a sad occurrence, with the suspicious death of a monk seal pup on the north shore of Kauai in November. Monk seal pup RF58 died from apparent blunt force trauma to the head. She was only about 4 to 5 months old, the daughter of Rocky, or RH58. An initial reward offer of $5,000 doubled to $10,000. In an unprecedented move, The Garden Island newspaper also decided to offer a $10,000 reward.

5. Expanded protection. President Barack Obama in September, through presidential proclamation, extended the protection zone around the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument by about 50 nautical miles. It was heralded as a victory by many conservation organizations in Hawaii who testified in favor of it.

6. HECO roller coaster. The Hawaii Electric Cos., the utility for the islands of Oahu, Maui and the Big Island, touched a major public nerve when its Aug. 26 plan was received by the Public Utilties Commission, proposing that the basic connection fees for customers in Honolulu be raised to a minimum of $55. On top of that, HECO attempted to drive a wedge between solar and non-solar customers, blamed its aging grid problems on solar PV customers and asked that new solar customers pay additional fees to connect. This came at a time when more than 3,500 solar PV customers were still waiting, from 9 months to a year, to get connected. Even DBEDT criticized the utility for putting its own profits above public interest while continuing to adhere to an outdated business model. Then in December HEI announced Florida-based NextEra would acquire the company for $4.3 billion, pending approval by the PUC. It's unknown how NextEra will treat individual solar PV customers. Let's just hope that battery storage systems become more affordable in coming years so that customers who want to get solar PV can do so, without worrying about the utility's grid.

7. Solar. It was not a good year for the solar industry in Hawaii. As reported in the Star-Advertiser business section, roof solar permits issued in Honolulu fell by 50 percent. Only 520 permits were issued by the city last month compared to 1,040 in November 2013 despite the availability of both state and federal tax credits (the federal tax credit is set to expire Dec. 31, 2016). Looking at the overall picture, though, the Hawaii State Energy Office noted that distributed renewable energy system installations increased significantly from 12,560 in 2012 to 18,316  in 2013. At the end of the year, the cumulative number of systems statewide totaled 40,717 with a total capacity of 253.5 Megawatt (MW). The state also ranked first in energy performance contracting in the nation with an investment of $235.74 per capita, and earned a third, consecutive Race to the Top award from the Energy Services Coalition in 2014.

8. Bronze for bikes. Honolulu earned its first bronze as a bicycle-friendly city from the League of American Bicyclists. Honolulu is the first municipality in Hawaii to achieve the bronze. Bicycle activists say Honolulu made strides in five areas, including engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation. They also laud the new King St. Cycle Track as a big step forward.

9.  Invasive species. From downed albizia trees on the Big Island to little fire ants and coconut rhinoceros beetles, the year 2014 was a year to monitor potentially destructive invasive species. The state department of agriculture does the best that it can on a meager budget. The albizia trees got plenty of attention during tropical storm Iselle, when they fell like a row of matchsticks and downed power lines. The little fire ants made their way to Mililani Mauka. The latest coconut rhino beetle, previously discovered around Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam,  was found in a trap at Kakaako Waterfront Park. Add to the list, a coconut crab in Salt Lake, and an emu on the Big Island.

10. Electric Vehicles. The number of people driving electric vehicles in Hawaii continues to grow. As of October 2014, DBEDT estimated the number of passenger electric vehicles in the state was 3,026, up 54.5 percent, from 1,068 from the same month a year ago. More charging stations are also popping up around the isles. Volta just announced two free charging stations outside of Whole Foods Market in Kahului, Maui.

Posted in Biking, electric cars, Energy, Green events, Hawaiian monk seals, Plastic | Comments Off on Year 2014 in eco-retrospective

Bike to Work Day

By
May 16th, 2014



Rachel Brians bikes to her job at Beach Bum Cafe downtown. It's easier, she says. Photo by Nina Wu.

Rachel Brians bikes to her job at Beach Bum Cafe downtown. It's easier, she says. Photo by Nina Wu.

Today is official Bike to Work Day in Honolulu. May is Bike Month and National Bike Month.

So if you can, hop on to your two wheels and give it a go!

"Biking to work is an efficient and fun way to get the exercise you need, without having to find extra time to work out," said Andy Clarke, president of the national bicyclists' organization, League of American Bicyclists. "And this year, with gasoline prices as high as they are, biking to work makes more sense than ever."

This morning, dozens of bikers stopped by the refresher station at Punchbowl and Civic Center Path to register and pick up refreshments, according to Hawaii Bicycling League membership and volunteer director Bobby Evans. In ridership, Hawaii ranks No. 12 among the top 70 largest cities in 2012, according to a report by The League of American Bicyclists.

Rachel Brians commutes by bike from upper Punchbowl to her job downtown at the Beach Bum Cafe on Bishop Street in downtown Honolulu. She says it's a lot quicker to bike it than to drive it. Plus, it's fun.

Coming up on Sunday, May 18: Bike to the Zoo Day. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., ride your bike to the Honolulu Zoo and get free admission. Free valet bike parking and free prizes will be available, too. Enter from the Monsarrat Avenue gate.

For additional bike month activities, visit hbl.org/bikemonth.

Carlos and Amy stop by Civic Center Path on Bike to Work Day. She bikes in style, in orange pumps. Photo by Nina Wu.

Carlos and Amy stop by Civic Center Path on Bike to Work Day. She bikes in style, in red-orange pumps. Photo by Nina Wu.

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